Bill Pedneault (left), Richard Green, Dave Saunders, Wally Vowels and Mike Hicks at the site of the new salmom hatchery site at Charters River. Clearing began at the site on Thursday. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)

Land clearing begins for new salmon hatchery in Sooke

Construction of facility expected to begin next spring

The clearing of land that will allow for construction of a new salmon hatchery along the Charters River began Thursday.

A crew from Dave Saunders Enterprises was on site at Charters River Salmon Interpretive Centre on Sooke River Road clearing trees and shrubs for the 5,000-square-foot facility.

The Juan de Fuca Salmon Society and Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society announced plans to build the hatchery last September. The new hatchery will see the closure of the Jack Brooks Hatchery on DeMamiel Creek.

RELATED: $1 million salmon hatchery eyed for Sooke

The Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society operated the Jack Brooks Hatchery for more than 40 years, but in recent years dwindling water supplies has made it more difficult to harvest the fish for brood stock.

The Jack Brooks Hatchery has a licence to raise 500,000 springs and 150,000 coho fry every year. A free pen operation also raises upward of 80,000 chinook salmon annually. The Capital Regional District has agreed to increase the Sooke reservoir water supply to the new hatchery, with the hopes of taking the salmon run from 500 to 5,000.

“The clearing of land is the first phase of this exciting project, which is right on track and moving forward,” said Mike Hicks, a spokesman for the hatchery group.

READ MORE: ‘Street-proof fish’ have better chance of survival, says researcher

Most of the work for the $1-million project is donated and so far many local businesses have stepped forward, said Hicks, including Dave Saunders Enterprises, Hallgren & Faulkner Lawyers, West Coast Design, District of Sooke, Port Renfrew Marina, Capital Regional District, Arden’s Self Storage, Alpine Enterprises, Butler Brothers, Ian Laing, Elida Peers, Wally Vowels and Bill Pedneault.

“I’m not surprised by the community effort,” Hicks said. “I’m hoping to attract other players now that people see we’re actually doing it.”

The clearing of the land is expected to be completed in a week, and Hicks hopes to have the building slab built by March 1, with construction completed by September – in time for the return of the salmon next fall.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

Strong winds expected in Greater Victoria Friday evening

Winds are expected to ease Saturday morning

‘We thought it was an earthquake,’ homeowners okay after tree falls

Mature tree falls on roof of Victoria Avenue house

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

The Coldest Night of the Year comes to Sooke

National event helps those who are hungry and homeless

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

SOOKE HISTORY: Remembering Salvatore (Sam) Pasta

Salvatore (Sam) Pasta lived life to the fullest

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read